Hello Rashi Families,
I hope this note finds you well. I just returned from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference. It was invigorating to be sharing ideas and learning with nearly 5,000 other educators from across the country and around the world.
As you would expect, dealing with the current coronavirus, labeled COVID-19, was a major area of conversation among leaders of day and boarding schools. NAIS added a session to the conference to cover the variety of considerations a school takes into account as we work to ensure the health and safety of our students and school community. This message updates you on actions Rashi is taking and shares links for you to keep up to date with information from the recommended and reliable sources that we are following.
First, Rashi and specifically our nurse, Keziah Furth, is in touch with local public health agencies and is following the best practices as recommended by local, national, and international agencies. While the risk in Massachusetts is currently low, our leadership team is preparing for a variety of scenarios. We also recognize that this is a learning opportunity for Rashi students, so Faculty and Staff are collaborating on how to talk with children about COVID-19 in developmentally appropriate ways, just as we would in the case of any major event. Kez is visiting all grade levels this week to refresh students' practice of proper hygiene, so that they understand how to reduce their risk of infection.
Second, you are our critical partners in maintaining the health of the school community. While COVID-19 may not be familiar to us, the hygienic precautions are:
- Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. If you use a tissue, dispose of it properly in the trash.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects
These routine practices strengthen community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak.
Third: here are a few of the resources we are using that we thought might be helpful for you as well:
Lastly, with regard to the Grade 8 Israel trip, in addition to the CDC, we are monitoring travel advisories at the US Department of State
and with these agencies’ Israeli counterparts. We are also in close contact with our Israel tour company, Alexander Muss, as well as our partners at the Leo Baeck School in Haifa. Both partners are updating us on their view of the situation in Israel. This is a rapidly changing situation. At this time, the trip continues as planned.
You may expect a regular update from the school on Fridays, with other communications as necessary.
While we prepare for a variety of possibilities and will be ready to adapt, it is our intention to continue life as usual at The Rashi School and look forward to seeing everyone as we celebrate Purim in a variety of ways this week.
Please feel free to reach out to me at any time by replying to this email or by phone at (617) 969-4444.